CHICAGO – Chris Rock isn’t a huge writer/director, but when he does make a film, it’s an event to consider. For example, he made black president tale “Head of State” long before then-senator Barack Obama was even considered for the real-life role, and whether behind the stand-up mic or in an interview, he’s a voice to be reckoned with.
CHICAGO – The painting “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer” was created by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt, and was considered Austria’s greatest artwork. The remarkable journey of the painting, stolen from its original Jewish family by the Nazis during World War II, is the basis for the new film, “Woman in Gold,” directed by Simon Curtis.
CHICAGO – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 50 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new drama “Woman in Gold” starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds!
CHICAGO – “The Giver” must have seemed a lot newer back when it was written than it does now. The Newberry Medal winning, middle school staple predates many other Young Adult series about oppressive big brother-ish societies.
CHICAGO – Ang Lee won his second Oscar this year for his work on “Life of Pi” but he wasn’t even nominated for one of the best films of his career, the masterful “The Ice Storm,” recently upgraded to Blu-ray by Criterion and re-released on DVD. Few films from 1997 have held up more completely as Lee’s adaptation of the Rick Moody novel feels even more symbolically dense and accomplished. It’s a stellar drama, one of the best of the ’90s, and Criterion has loaded it down with special features.
CHICAGO – Adam Sandler has become such a lazy filmmaker that he’s now just building films around his personal vacation schedule. He wanted to take an outdoors-y vacation with his friends and the result was “Grown Ups.” He wanted to go to Hawaii and the result was “Just Go With It.” He wanted to take a cruise and we have to sit through “Jack and Jill.”
CHICAGO – Just as Peter Jackson’s adaptation of “The Lovely Bones” suffered from visual over-saturation, writer/producer Guillermo del Toro’s remake of John Newland’s 1973 TV movie succumbs to ineffectual excess. As soon as its fearsome creatures appear for longer than a flash frame, they instantly lose their scare-factor. Didn’t del Toro and his crew learn anything from “Signs”?
CHICAGO – No one will ever accuse Adam Sandler of not knowing his audience and the reason they keep coming back to his “Happy Madison” genre of films – he delivers the oddball characters, lots of bodily fluids/sounds, physical beatings and the know-it-all straight man. Add the gooey sentiment and out spews the latest, “Jack and Jill.”
CHICAGO – Director Dito Montiel and star Channing Tatum were once tagged with the label of the hot new debut artistic partnership. 2006’s great “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” introduced both men to the world and it felt like it could be the calling card for a creative team to someday rival Scorsese & De Niro. Tatum reunited with Montiel on the disappointing “Fighting” and their latest venture, “The Son of No One,” while an improvement on Montiel’s sophomore slump, is nonetheless another misfire.
CHICAGO – In our latest police thriller edition of HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 admit-two movie passes up for grabs to the advance Chicago screening of “The Son of No One” starring Channing Tatum and Al Pacino!
CHICAGO – Echoing elements of masterful works by Producer Guillermo Del Toro (most notably “The Devil’s Backbone,” “Pan’s Labyrinth”), “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” is an incredibly frustrating remake, a film that reminds one of scary movies instead of actually producing scares itself.